God has no physical image/body?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Seth&Mattsmom, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Seth&Mattsmom

    Seth&Mattsmom
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    I was listening to Turning point on the radio and heard this preached. That Jesus is the only part of God that can be seen or will ever be seen. That no one will ever SEE the Father. That the Father does not have a physical-tangible body or sense...I can't even get the words I need to describe what I got from Swindoll's message.

    How can this be? Is there scripture to back it up? Is His throne just an invisible spot next to Jesus? and what about the beatitudes? Can someone clear this a little for me?
     
  2. donnA

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    As for ever seeing God I don't know, but I do not believe He has nor needs a physical body. A physical body has space/time limitations, which God does not have.
     
  3. Humblesmith

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    God is spirit, and as such, does not have a physical body. Donna mentioned some of the issues with physicalness. Further, having a body means that there is an edge, or and end, to where God is. He would be over here, but not over there. He would be limited to the place where the body is. Yet scripture tells us that God is everywhere present (omnipresent), and that He is unlimited. So God is not limited to where a body is, whether spiritual or physical.

    Theologians also speak of the "beatific vision" that we will see in heaven, which is the most beautiful thing that we could ever see or behold. Further, God is light, and illumines heaven so that it does not need artificial light.

    But I'll have to think about the "never see him" part. Swindoll is usually right on the mark theologically.
     
  4. PASTOR MHG

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    Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

    Jesus Christ is the EXPRESS IMAGE of God. God is a tripartite being...think of it as Body(Son), soul(Father), and spirit(Holy Ghost).

    EXPRESS IMAGE is literally...a figure of, or representation of. Therefore we can conclude that the person of Jesus Christ is exactly how God intends to Express Himself to us.

    Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

    Don't feel cheated. Everything that you need to know, understand, relate to about God dwells in the corporeal body of Jesus Christ. This then becomes the Beauty of God's dealings with man. You want God...you take the Son. You come to God on the terms he has set...not your understanding or ideas about God, but how God has chosen to reveal himself to you...the Son.

    Other clear presentations of this are Zechariahs description of the second coming being JEHOVAH, and John's(Revelation) description being Jesus.

    As to the Throne and Jesus sitting on the Right hand...I may be wrong, but this seems to be more of a description of a position of power waiting to be deployed or take action on behalf of the King. Seems symbolic.

    I hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Max
     
  5. Johnv

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    That does indeed appear to be the case. In allplaes where God is encountered in scripture, he is either heard, or "appearing as" something. The burning bush is a good example of God appearing as something.
     
  6. AresMan

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    No one has or will see the Father exactly as the Father is.

    Jesus is the visible representation of the Father. Being the "Son of God," Jesus is the representation of the Father. Son in the Bible does not always have to mean seed offspring; it has other shades of meaning, such as "one who is after the order of, one who makes manifest, or represents." The "sons of Belial" weren't necessarily the physical offspring of "Belial" (meaning worthless one); they were the ones who visually represent one who is worthless.
    Jesus was God in the flesh, or the physical manifestation of God to man.
     
  7. HankD

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    I tend to agree with Aresman but I'll wait and "see?" (or not) with my resurrected eyes.

    1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

    1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    HankD
     
  8. Benjamin

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    Don’t think John 1:18 is referring to the future.

    We can’t comprehend seeing God while in a flesh body, but maybe we will in a Spiritual Body. What we see without flesh eyes or rather what we will see and understand with new eyes I don’t think anyone knows and to say, “no one will ever see the Father” is at least by my opinion rather presumptuous from a point of not knowing what it’s like to be in a spiritual body in heaven.

    Yeah, you mentioned the beatitudes:
    (Mat 5:8) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

    What do you think of seeing Him as He is?

    (1Jo 3:1) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

    (1Jo 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

    Oh, I see Hank beat me to the this scripture, he does that alot! [​IMG]
     
  9. HankD

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    Hmm, would that come under "great minds think alike" Benjamin? [​IMG]

    HankD
     
  10. fossilman

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    Acts 7:55: But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

    To me this verse explicity implies that God has a right hand, and that Jesus was standing next to it. How do others read this?
     
  11. PASTOR MHG

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    My thoughts are in my above post. I wouldn't say that God(the Father) doesn't have a right hand, but I would conclude that it is not physical...since God is a spirit. However, that does not mean that it is not literal. I still lean toward the idea that this has more to do with a "ready state" than a physical position.

    Not sure...

    Max
     
  12. prophecynut

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    John saw God when he was taken up in the Spirit on the Lord's day to see "what must take place after" the Church Age. He saw someone sitting on a throne that had the "appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emeral, encircled the throne" (Rev. 3:2-3).

    I'm sure this is what the Church will see as evident by the Church saints standing before God's throne (5:8). There appears to be a outline of God similar to humans because John sees him sitting on a throne holding a scroll in his right hand. When Stephen looked up to heaven he saw the glory of God, the same glory or theophany of the Father John saw. Although God is spirit, he can manifest himself into a personage visible to others.
     
  13. Johnv

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    OTOH, perhaps the manner and details that John used in his descriptions were pictoral analogies to describe something that we in our limited human form are unable to comprehend at this point in our life. Forgive my crude comparison here, but we are no more able to comprehend what it is to be in the Heavenly presence of God than a 4 yoear old is able to comprehend an orgasm. We're simply not equipped to comprehend it. To borrowk from the movie "Star Trek 4", we can't have a comprehensible description on death until we've died.
     
  14. Joman

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    Jesus has a physical/flesh body there...
     
  15. donnA

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    He didn't ask about Jesus, but God the Father.
     
  16. IveyLeaguer

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    This has always been a fascinating question and I find myself thinking about it probably more than I should. But who cannot get excited when contemplating Isaiah 6, Revelation 5, and other like passages?

    God the Father is a Spirit as Jesus said and therefore invisible to fallen man as is the rest of the spirit world unless God Himself opens our spiritual eyes as He did for John and Isaiah, and other lesser examples in scripture such as the young servant of Elisha. He is not physical in any way and is not bound by a body of any kind and is non-corporeal. I think this is clear from scripture.

    At the same time, I cannot buy into the idea that God the Father is limited to invisibility or formlessness (even in spiritual realms where we have never been and cannot comprehend) as do Hank Hanegraaf and others who tend to lean toward allegory when confronted by such passages. I am far from a wooden literalist and allegory is often the right way to go but to me that view is a forced one that conveniently allows for human logic and permits an explanation that is comprehendable to humans. I don't know how anyone could take such a view and claim authority, given the limited attention of scripture, the obvious limitations of our fallen nature, the time-space continuum, and other factors.

    I certainly don't know but I suspect that God the Father has the ability to appear in a spiritual 'form' just as reported by Isaiah and John and others and that He may do so 'again' (a time-space term) with His church gathered before Him as indicated in the scripture. Maybe not, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the scene is precisely as revealed to John and Isaiah, just as I wouldn't put it past God to have real, physical streets made of pure gold in The Holy City. 'Form' is not a perfect term but the word I might prefer doesn't exist in the English language as far as I know. I think 'body', even 'spiritual body', definitely portrays the wrong idea and would agree with Hanegraaf and others on that point. When, how, how often, or why God the Father may manifest Himself in a spiritual 'form' that could be distinguished by creatures He chooses, I have no earthly or heavenly idea.

    Also, it seems to me, as we contemplate these things we must try to think of God's wondrous 'glory' characterized by His tremendous 'light' as indicated by scripture. I am sure no human can comprehend these fully, either. Moses, Isaiah, and even James, Peter, and John probably had a degree of comprehension given their experiences, some more than others. I think scripture indicates this 'light' is blinding to fallen eyes and required God's assistance to men even in the biblical examples. To me, nothing is more awe-inspiring than the light and glory of God as they are characteristics of His holiness and His beauty.

    Fascinating as it all is, I agree that God's manifestations, however they may occur, can only be 'glimpsed', at best, by fallen man and are beyond our comprehension just as His holiness cannot be comprehended. Right this moment I feel like a 6 month old baby in front of a classroom trying to give a lecture on quantum physics.
     
  17. Aaron

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    Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

    And lest one suggest that we will only "see" God the Son, the Son said:

    Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God, Matthew 5:8

    We will see God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
     

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